African Holocaust

African Holocaust

5.0 1
by Steel Pulse
     
 

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This surprisingly vital collection comes seven years after Steel Pulse's second '90s studio recording, Rage and Fury, and proves David Hinds and company to be the most vitriolic middle-aged Rastafarians next to Bad Brains. The ire that fueled Steel Pulse's liberationist manifestoes from Handsworth Revolution on hasn't mellowed with the years; as HindsSee more details below

Overview

This surprisingly vital collection comes seven years after Steel Pulse's second '90s studio recording, Rage and Fury, and proves David Hinds and company to be the most vitriolic middle-aged Rastafarians next to Bad Brains. The ire that fueled Steel Pulse's liberationist manifestoes from Handsworth Revolution on hasn't mellowed with the years; as Hinds (presumably) lays out in the liner notes, it's only intensified with the continuation of the African Holocaust, first through slavery, then colonialism, now HIV/AIDS. This is very nearly a David Hinds solo album (keyboardist Selwyn Brown is the only other original member), and as his feathery vocals and tough guitar riddims have defined the Steel Pulse sound since its inception, that's OK. The remarkable arrangements that enliven classic Pulse are faithfully updated for the dancehall era, with real horns and tight backing vocals making up for the supple interplay of a working band. Rather than settle into the complacent one-drop that's plagued most roots veterans, Hinds tries on all kinds of rhythms. The remarkably hard "Blazing Fire," featuring Capleton, doesn't need to imitate the latest dancehall sounds, instead forging a credible mix of roots and electronic energy. It's one of a few tunes -- "Global Warning," "No More Weapons," and a cover of Dylan's "George Jackson" -- that seem like instant Pulse classics. For a band entering their third decade, there's no higher praise.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
A long seven years since their previous album, Rage and Fury, reggae legends Steel Pulse return yet again, this time with African Holocaust, and yet again have their ranks dwindled. Core members David Hinds (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Selwyn Brown (keyboards, backing vocals) are the only ones to remain from the band's glory years, but they more than hold their own and they're joined by a deep roster of supporting musicians, a list too long to list. As always, the music is what's most important, and on that count, this Steel Pulse lineup indeed makes the mark. The sound here is superglossy for such grassroots-level reggae, sure, and that may indeed irk some listeners who still yearn for the lo-fi golden age of roots reggae. Even so, the songwriting and musicianship here are also super -- as super as anything bearing the Steel Pulse banner in a decade or two (standouts include "Global Warning," "Blazing Fire," and the title track). The thing is, this is largely a Hinds solo album; he writes all the songs in addition to singing and lending guitar to them, so if there's anything lacking it's a sense of unison among the bandmembers. You have to wonder if this guy ever tires of Steel Pulse. After all, it's been decades now, and here again he shows no sign of slowing down. Granted, it did take him seven years to get the album out, but still. There's really not too much else to say about African Holocaust. Longtime fans will know what to expect. Newcomers should know a few things: above all, Steel Pulse are known for performing well-written, Afrocentric songs that are rebellious without being negative or inflammatory, and though the band membership has changed over the years, the type of songs hasn't, nor has the steady move away from dancehall that was apparent on the band's previous album. This is very well done contemporary reggae, and even the rhetoric-laden liner notes and iconographic outer packaging are well done. Overall, yes, it's well done.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2008
Label:
Wiseman Doctrine Uk
UPC:
0604388653928
catalogNumber:
9

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steel Pulse   Primary Artist
Capleton   DJ
Selwyn Brown   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Colin Cooper   Harmonica
Alvin Ewen   Bass,Group Member
David Hinds   Guitar,Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Djembe,cowbell
Steve Morrison   Trombone
Clifford Moonie Pusey   Guitar,Group Member
James Renford   Alto Saxophone
Raymond Walker   Percussion
Sidney Mills   Organ,Group Member
Jacko Peake   Saxophone
Damian "Junior Gong" Marley   DJ
Donnie Sterling   Background Vocals,Group Member
Chris Petter   Trombone
Wayne "G-Sharp" Clark   Drums
Tiken Jah Fakoly   DJ
Simon Wilcox   Trumpet
Sylvia Tella   Background Vocals
Sandra Francis   Background Vocals
Junie Ranks   DJ
Nana   Percussion
Focett Gray   Guitar
Noel "Asher" Barnes   Percussion
Hunter Hamedah   Background Vocals
Raheemah Hunter   Background Vocals
Conrad Kelly   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Adam Drake   Guitar
Mike Williams   Background Vocals
Clifford Pusey   Guitar
Donna Sterling   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bob Dylan   Composer
David Hinds   Composer
Sidney Mills   Programming,drum programming
Michael Henry   Audio Production
Micheal Henry   Producer
Lee Jeffcoate   Art Direction

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